Age and Migration Studies

Frontiers Research Topic: Ageing and Migration Status: Intersectional Forms of Discrimination and Exclusion

The Universities of Hull, Manchester, and Osnabrück are working together to organise a research topic with Frontiers. The Research Topic aims to start a conversation between academics, policy makers, community organisers and immigrants themselves on how ageing is experienced in the migrant community. We’re seeking contributions including research papers, commentaries, literature reviews and discussion papers.  You can find more information on the Research Topic here. As part of the initiative, we are holding webinar discussions.  Videos of the discussions can be found here.

1 July 2021: Intro to the Frontiers Research Topic and Uncertain Futures

In this introductory webinar, Matt Flynn talks about the aims and strategy of the Research Topic.  Elaine Dewhurst discusses an innovative project, Uncertain Futuresbeing carried out by MICRA, Manchester Metropolitan University and Manchester Art Gallery which combines research and art to explore the experiences of women 50+ in work.

“Cult Open” and intercultural competency in the context of integration of migrants

This strand of research involves the intersection of two global phenonomena: population ageing and migration. CROW is involved in a consortium to bid for Horizon 2020 funds to investigate the experiences of older migrants across Europe, particularly in relation to employment. Details of the CULT consortium can be found here.

Older Chinese Nationals in the United Kingdom: Strategies for maintaining employability

My talk with Louise Wong on our research

In the UK, as in most parts of Europe, government is seeking to raise real retirement ages by raising pension ages, restricting social benefits and encouraging employers to provide work opportunities for older workers. This agenda presents three major challenges for the Chinese community, particularly first generation Cantonese. First, many within the community are employed in the catering sector in physically demanding and stressful work in which the expectation is for very early retirement (before 55). Second, a large proportion have spent most of their careers self-employed, usually owning and running family businesses. Consequently, they cannot rely on employers to provide access to retraining, flexible working and phased retirement which could help workers delay retirement. Third, first generation Chinese often lack sufficient English skills to either find re-employment or participate in government sponsored training.

At the same time, the Chinese community faces significant skills shortages, with many of the elderly requiring carers who not only have formal qualifications, but also are proficient in Chinese and understand their culture. There is an obvious match between a group of workers who need jobs and a sector which needs employees. However, older Chinese nationals who may be considering second careers in caring.

As part of a collaborative project, Wai-Yin, a community centred organisation in Manchester, and the Centre for Research into the Older Workforce collaborated on an action research based project to learn what kind of work opportunities would persuade older Chinese nationals to delay retirement; what obstacles they face in gaining such employment; and specifically the support which they would need to pursue second careers in caring.

This project is part of a larger ESRC project on work and retirement in the UK and Hong Kong.